AB Plant, Karen Titus Smith, 2024, acrylic, 42 x 42 in. / 106.68 x 106.68 cm.

Karen Titus Smith: Defying Dimensions in Art

Featured image: AB Plant, Karen Titus Smith, 2024, acrylic, 42 x 42 in. / 106.68 x 106.68 cm.

Karen Titus Smith’s body of work represents a vibrant journey through mixed media, playing with the boundaries of two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms.

Karen Titus Smith is an artist known for dynamic mixed media art that merges 2D drawings with 3D forms, creating vibrant, textured works on wood.

Smith's art invites viewers to a unique visual experience, where the usual constraints of media dissolve, leaving a dynamic interplay of shapes, textures, and colors.

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2D & 3D: Sculptural Drawings on Wood

2D & 3D, Karen Titus Smith, 2024, mixed media on wood, 41 x 37 in. / 104.14 x 93.98 cm.

"2D & 3D" blurs the lines between drawing and sculpture, an innovation by Karen Titus Smith that stands out in its originality. Crafted on wood, the piece combines a flat, sketch-like quality with elements that jump into the third dimension. The intriguing choice to let some parts of the drawing leap off the panel in pure white sculptural forms challenges perceptions and dares to defy gravity. The monochromatic segments interact with the pencil strokes, suggesting a narrative of forms escaping their two-dimensional confinement. Smith’s work here is a bold statement on the potential elasticity of artistic media.

LRA815a: A Dance of Light and Texture

LRA815a, Karen Titus Smith, 2015, mixed media, 41 x 46 in. / 104.14 x 116.84 cm.

In "LRA815a," Smith has encapsulated a moment of luminous fluidity. This piece, with its captivating blues, appears as if the northern lights have been caught and woven into a tapestry. The light seems to shift within the crevices, bringing the texture to life and inviting contemplation. This work stands as a testament to Smith's ability to capture ephemeral beauty, creating a visual poem that hums with an almost audible rhythm. It demonstrates her adept use of mixed media to create an art piece that is both a visual and sensory feast.

Green Relief: Nature's Impasto in Three Dimensions

Green Relief, ARGR06, Karen Titus Smith, 2006, mixed media, 55 x 53 x 15 in. / 139.7 x 134.62 x 38.1 cm.

"Green Relief" offers a tactile exploration of organic forms, textures, and the vigor of nature encapsulated in a substantial relief. The lush greens, interwoven with highlights and shadows, bring to mind a vibrant, living ecosystem. The dimensional layers carved with palpable energy give the work an impasto effect, though not with paint, but with the medium itself. The promise of reconfigurability for exterior spaces hints at the piece's versatility and durability, key characteristics of Smith's adaptive and considerate design approach.

Karen Titus Smith’s work is an articulate dialogue between dimensions, with each piece inviting the viewer to reconsider their relationship with form and space. Smith is not just an artist but a translator of the tactile world into visual forms that dance between the realms of the flat and the physical. Her mixed media artworks are a celebration of the endless possibilities within the confines of wood, texture, and light. Whether capturing a flicker of light or the essence of growth and movement, Smith’s creations are a vivid reminder that art is not just seen—it is felt and experienced.

Learn more About Naturalist Gallery of Contemporary Art.

Gourds, Karen Titus Smith, 2024, oil on canvas, 18 x 16 in. / 45.72 x 40.64 cm.

Gourds, Karen Titus Smith, 2024, oil on canvas, 18 x 16 in. / 45.72 x 40.64 cm.

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